Tuesday 14/5. Throughout our night moored on the river Severn, our sleep was interrupted periodically, by a swan nibbling away at the algae, on the boats waterline. It sounded like a pneumatic drill, in comparison to when the ducks do it.

The culprit

On opening the side hatch, the culprit was still hanging around, no doubt waiting for any breakfast titbits. What was even more galling, was half an hour later, when we got underway, the swan had its head tucked under a wing, fast asleep. No doubt tired after its night time of feasting.

A short distance from the mooring is the entrance to the Worcester and Birmingham Canal. There are two wide Locks which lift you from the river, and into Diglis Basin.

Worcester and Birmingham Canal ahead to the right

We shared the Lock with another boat crewed by a team of bell ringers, then through Diglis Basin and onto the Canal.

Diglis Basin

The difference in steerage was immediately noticeable, and only three hundred yards on, approaching the first narrow Lock, the propeller became fouled with rubbish. Oh how I long for the deep clean waters of the rivers.

A last look back at the Severn

On we went passing The Commandary, originally a small hospital, then later the headquarters of Charles II, before the Battle of Worcester in 1651. This Canal is heavily locked as it climbs its way towards Birmingham, with 58 Locks over the 30 miles. It also has the longest Lock flight in the country, a joy we are soon to behold. The weather was warm, and after 16 Locks we called it a day by the visitor moorings at Tibberton. We secured the boat, and then popped along to the Bridge Inn, for well earned refreshments, which later became an evening meal. The pub is very dog friendly, with two of their own, so four legs joined us.

Today, 15/5 we had a non moving day. The crew went on strike, apparently there is a rule, that you can’t be made to do Locks on your birthday. So we walked along the Canal to the next village at Oddingley, and had a birthday lunch at the Fir Tree P.H. It was very nice. Tomorrow we head for Stoke Prior, a fairly gentle day before Tardebigge on Friday.

Mooring spot at Tibberton

Totals 6 Miles 16 Locks

Running total 111 Miles 126 Locks 3 Tunnels